C. F. Martin D-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1965)

C. F. Martin  D-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1965)

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Item # 8279
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C. F. Martin D-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1965), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 203521, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

This is a well-played and fine-sounding D-18 from the end of the "Folk Era" of the 1960s, just as the Beatles brought electricity roaring back into the guitar mainstream. From its introduction in the early 1930s on, the D-18 has been a workhorse for country, gospel, folk, and other forms of American vernacular music. Back in the 1960s, the mahogany D-18 and its rosewood sister the D-28 were practically the emblems of the Folk revival and became- as they have remained ever since- the acoustic guitar of choice for pickers of just about every persuasion.

This D-18 has appointments typical of 1965, which was just before Martin made a number of changes to the instrument that are thought to diminish its vintage character. The pickguard and binding are tortoise celluloid, which would soon be replaced by black plastic; the still-intact original bridge is one of the first short-saddle pieces. The tuners are Kluson Deluxe with metal buttons. The headstock's "rounded" corners are characteristic of this period, the result of Martin's shaping templates having become worn from extensive use. This guitar sings with a powerful, bright and clear sound; played in and an excellent instrument for just about any flat-top application.
 
Overall length is 41 in. (104.1 cm.), 15 3/4 in. (40 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). This is an excellent playing D-18, and it has been played a lot! The top shows fairly substantial pickwear mostly around the pickguard, and there are dings, dents and scrapes to the finish overall. There is a solidly but visibly repaired mahogany grain crack on the lower back; that is the only crack apparent. There is a strap button hole on the treble side of the heel which we can fill…or simply re-install a strap button, as desired.

The frets have been re-crowned a bit lower but still play well. The original rosewood bridge is solid and appears to have been lowered just a bit; the bone saddle is new. This is a very even sounding guitar, a versatile instrument suited to many picking styles. It is housed in a period Ess & Ess hard case that has seen a lot of road life but is still solid. Very Good + Condition.